Fish4Dogs staff get a slice of the action

Fish4Dogs staff got a slice of the action when a company party was held to celebrate its brand refresh.

A layered cake was produced – representing the packaging colours across the Finest Complete range – for a tea party launch at the company’s head office in Worcestershire.

The event was hosted by Fish4Dogs CEO Graham Smith and Head of Marketing Jo Mulgrew, who led the brand refresh project.

Ahead of the celebration, each member of the team was asked to vote for their favourite colour from the new bags, and on the day, they were presented with a gift mug in their colour of choice.

The rainbow palette was mirrored across the canteen which had been decorated with balloons and banners corresponding colours for the event.

Fish4Dogs CEO Graham Smith said: “The brand refresh has been a significant undertaking and has resulted in a fresh and vibrant new look which will be rolled out across the Fish4Dogs range. Our company has a real ‘family’ feel and we wanted every members to be aware of what was happening and help celebrate our achievement.

“The new packaging is being rolled out across the various lines, with Finest Complete undertaken first and our extensive treats range being unveiled very shortly. This will allow us to showcase our new look more widely to the public, at Crufts, in March.”

For more information on the Finest Complete Range you can visit





The UK’s pet rabbits are lonely, says vets

Vets are calling for better awareness of the health and welfare benefits of housing rabbits in compatible pairs or groups.

Research by the Britsh Veterinary Association (BVA) shows that nearly half of pet rabbits seen by vets in the UK spend their life alone, despite evidence showing that they are happier and healthier when housed with a suitable companion.

Vets are urging potential owners to consider taking on more than just one pet rabbit due to the importance of companionship for their physical and emotional health and welfare.

According to the 2019 PDSA PAW report, rabbits are the UK’s third most popular pet, however their needs remain very misunderstood.

A recent survey BVA survey of vets in the UK showed that 73% had seen pet rabbits who were not having all of their welfare needs met and of the rabbits they saw, 42% were housed alone.

In a joint position, the British Veterinary Association (BVA) alongside the British Veterinary Zoological Society (BVZS) and British Small Animal Veterinary Association (BSAVA) have called for greater awareness of the health and welfare benefits of housing rabbits in compatible pairs or groups.

Compatible rabbit companions – that is two of the same sex (preferably neutered) or of neutered opposite sex – can benefit from better physical and mental health, behavioural opportunities and emotional health.

Rabbits are a prey species and traditionally live in colonies in the wild. Research shows that they often actively seek out the company of other rabbits in preference to food.

Vets also say that sufficient indoor or outdoor housing space is essential and that rabbits housed with another of the opposite sex should always be neutered. Contrary to historical practice, guinea pigs do not make good partners for rabbits as they have different dietary needs, can suffer injury and even disease, when housed alongside them.

The organisations are calling for vets, pet sellers, breeders, animal welfare organisations and the government to work together to improve awareness of the benefits of housing pet rabbits in compatible pairs or groups.

BVA President and small animal and exotics vet, Daniella Dos Santos, said: “Whether they are outside or inside, pet rabbits are highly sociable animals and benefit from buddying up with a suitable companion, so it’s a big concern that so many in the UK still live alone. It’s important to acknowledge the significance of companionship and adequate housing space to keep rabbits happy and healthy. We aim to create better awareness of both the physical and emotional health and welfare benefits to rabbits of keeping them in compatible pairs and want to spread the word that #ItTakesTwo.

“Anyone thinking of taking on a pair or a group of rabbits should seek expert veterinary guidance to help make sure that the match is successful. For example, if you’re starting from scratch, a neutered pair is ideal but if you already have a lone rabbit and you’re wondering whether you should get a companion, ask your vet what your options are, what companion would be best suited to your rabbits health and welfare needs and the safest way to introduce them.”








Puppy parents needed across the country for assistance dog charity

Assistance dog charity, Canine Partners are looking for volunteers to offer the best start in life to a puppy in training.

The national charity is looking for puppy parents in their 13 puppy training satellite areas to provide their puppies with the love, care and skills they need to get ready for the next stage of their training.

Canine Partners training amazing assistance dogs to transform the lives of people with disabilities, boosting their confidence and independence.

The dogs are taught a range of everyday tasks including picking up and fetching items, opening doors and dressing a person. They can even help to load and unload a washing machine and they can fetch help in an emergency.

Puppies-in-training live in the volunteer’s home from around eight-weeks-old until they are ready to start advanced training when they are between 12 and 14 months, at the Southern Training Centre near Midhurst or the Midlands Training Centre in Leicestershire.

Canine Partners’ expert trainers are on hand to support puppy parents, as training involves home visits, one-to-ones, town visits and puppy classes in order to socialise the puppy and get them used to all situations they may need to be in a fully trained canine partner.

To become a puppy parent in one of the Canine Partners’ 13 puppy satellites across the country, you need to be aged 18 or over, work less than full-time and be willing to make a long-term commitment of at least 14 months.

To find out more about becoming a puppy parent for Canine Partners, you can visit call 08456 580480 or email




One-eyed rescue kitten is struggling to find a new home

A unique kitten named Ana is struggling to find a home and staff at Battersea fear it may be due to her unconventional looks.

In an age where an increasing number of people want photogenic pets, four-month-old Ana, who was born with a cleft lip and lost her right eye at only a few weeks old, many not meet some people’s picture-perfect criteria.

The domestic short hair arrived at Battersea in December when she was only seven weeks old, and it was immediately clear to staff that Ana was a special kitten that would require extra care.

Alongside her cleft lip, Battersea’s vets discovered that Ana suffered from a rare congenital abnormality where one of her eyeballs was underdeveloped, and they had to remove it to ease her discomfort.

Battersea’s Cattery Manager, Rachel Saunders, said: “It is such a shame when people take animals at face value when searching for a new pet, rather than looking beyond their appearance to find unique quirks and personalities.

“As well as her distinctive face, Ana is a black cat and too many people still have misconceptions and superstitions about that particular colour. We think she’s beautiful just the way she is, because the things that make an animal different are what makes them special. Rescue animals may not be perfect, but they’re certainly worth it, and soft and playful Ana is a fantastic example of this.”

Battersea sees such high demand for kittens all year round that they usually have owners lined up waiting to whisk them off to their new homes the minute they get the call to say their new pet is ready. Meanwhile poor Ana got the green light to go to her new home almost three weeks ago but has yet to meet any potential new owners.

Rachel added: “As with any rescue animal, Ana deserves a fresh start and has a lot to offer as a pet. She’s had a tough start to life, but she’s definitely still got eight of her nine lives left to live and we hope that her luck is about to change for the better. She may not have 20/20 vision, but we believe that this will be her year.”

Ana is staying with a foster carer until a home has been found for her, so anyone interested in meeting her will need to speak to a member of the Cattery team at or you can visit the website for more information.















International Crufts entries fall significantly for first time in a decade

The number of overseas dogs due to compete at Crufts 2020 has seen a significant drop for the first time in around a decade.

This marks a sign of concern amongst dog owners about travelling in a post-Brexit world, and an indicator of the possible implications Brexit will have on future four-legged international entries to the show.

The world’s greatest dog show, due to take place at the NEC in Birmingham on 5-8 March – just weeks after Britain officially left the EU – has seen a dramatic year-on-year rise in the number of foreign dogs competing ever since 2002, peaking in 2018.

2002 marked the first year that dogs travelled to the show under the Pet Travel Scheme, meaning that people could take their dogs between the UK and the EU, and other designated countries, without quarantine by using a pet passport, which requires the animal to have a valid rabies vaccination and microchip. Overseas entries shot up by 269% between 2001 and 2002.

However, for the first time in 18 years, the number of overseas dogs due to compete at Crufts has dropped significantly. There are 3,171 overseas dogs competing this year, compared with 3,611 dogs last year.

Crufts, whilst a British institution, is a truly international event. The debut of an increased number of international dogs on the Crufts stage could not have been more spectacular, as a Standard Poodle from Norway, Nordic Champion Topscore Contradiction, went all the way to Best in Show in 2002.

Since this date, there have been another five Best in Show winners from abroad (two from the United States, one from Canada, one from Russia and last year’s Papillion Dylan was from Belgium).

This year, the show has almost 20,000 dogs competing for its famous silver cup – 16,525 from the UK – which means that at least 17% of dogs strutting their stuff on the green carpet will be from outside the UK.

In total, 42 countries will be taking part in the world’s greatest dog event this year, from Australia to Ukraine. However, all but one of the top ten countries have taken a tumble – while Italy has kept its lead with the largest international number of entries, at 366 dogs, this is an 11% drop from 2019.

In second place is France at 317 entries, down by 19%. Germany and the Netherlands follow in third and fourth place with 289 and 286 dogs respectively, while Ireland’s 266 entries in fifth place is down 16% compared to last year.

Last year’s Best in Show winner, Kathleen Roosens, from Belgium, flew in the face of the original Brexit deadline of 29th March 2019 by winning with prestigious title with Papillon, Dylan – a premier win for the four-legged French breed as well as the first for a Belgian two-legged competitor, at the beginning of the month.

Kathleen commented on the downward trend of international entries: “I think fewer Europeans entered Crufts this year purely because of Brexit – nothing else. Some people I spoke to feared they needed rabies tests and others didn’t enter because of not knowing what ‘worse care’ could be.”

Kathleen hasn’t been put off though; she is competing once again at Crufts 2020 with these dogs and in a truly international spirit – one is from the Republic of Korea, one is from Japan and one from the Czech Republic – all bred by Kathleen in Belgium.

Kathleen added: “I have been coming to Crufts ever since I was a child and it’s pure magic. Having visited all major shows across the globe, for me Crufts is still the show of all shows – organised by the most welcoming team in a country with a rich culture. It’s the show of the year to see and be seen, and the huge international crowd means you meet all kinds of people and dogs, who hail from all over.”

Bill Lambert, spokesperson for Kennel Club which organises Crufts, said: “Crufts is a British institution with a truly international feel and is a great celebration of dogs, regardless of where they live. Each year we see thousands of British dogs at the show, as well as a huge number from abroad.

“As with many areas of British life, the future movement of dogs across the channel in a post-Brexit world is a concern ahead of Crufts, and many dogs owners – who needed to enter the snow by 20th January – could have been put off by the uncertainty around pet travel. While we now know from Defra that pet travel regulations will remain the same throughout the transition period, we were only notified of this the week after entries for Crufts closed, so were unable to reassure potential competitors before they made a decision to enter.

“This could have had an impact on international entries. We continue to urge all dog owners to read the Defra advice by visiting the GOV.UK website for the latest information on how to prepare their dogs for foreign travel but in the meantime all entered dogs and visitors are welcomed to this year’s Crufts, where they will be treated to another spectacular event.”

Crufts takes place from 5th – 8th March with over 20,000 dogs from 42 countries. Tickets  are available at









Long-term Dogs Trust residents looking for loving new homes

Dogs Trust Salisbury is appealing to dog lovers this Valentine’s Day to help find homes for nine long-term residents.

While most of the dogs the rehoming centre cares for each year find their forever homes quickly, others find themselves overlooked by visitors, often because they may have specific homing requirements or need a little more TLC than their kennel neighbours.

The nine dogs are all hoping to find their special someone after spending more than 13 years in kennels collectively. From bouncy Lurcher Edie to big loveable lad, Ty, the team are hoping that it won’t be too much longer before they all find their ideal homes.

Claire Rowe, Manager at Dogs Trust Salisbury, said: “We see dogs of all shapes an sizes here at Dogs Trust Salisbury and whilst many of them fly out of the doors, others take a little while longer to find their perfect match.

“It goes without saying that puppies and cute, fluffy breeds will usually find a home quickly. Similarly, a dog that is confident and approaches the font of his kennel wagging his tail when people walk past, will get rehomed far faster than a shy dog who needs a few met and greets before making sure his new owners are the right fit.

“Our long-term dogs are all very special to us and they all deserve great homes with families who will love them for who they are.”

The dogs looking for their very special someone this Valentine’s Day are:


Dukie is a charming six-year old Crossbreed who likes to build a bond with his humans. He can be a little shy at first, but as long as you can take things at his pace, he soon comes around and you’ll have a new best friend. Dukie is a clever lad who is always ready to learn something new, especially for a tasty treat or two. He could live with another dog but needs an adult-only home.












Five-year old Lurcher Edie is bouncy and full of beans and has an infectious love of life. She enjoys getting outside for quiet walks, playing with her toys and snuggling up for a cuddle. She would need to be the only pet in the home but can have calm walking buddies when out and about. She could live with children aged 14 and above and adopters would need to be prepared to visit her multiple times to build up trust with her before taking her home.












Four-year old German Shepherd Thomas is a shy boy who enjoys the quieter side of life. He loves to play with his toys and likes nothing more than a good game of fetch with his favourite tennis ball. He is a charming chap who would need to be the only dog in an adult-only home, and he is looking for calm, patient owners who can commit to his ongoing training. Thomas is currently working with his trainers on a bespoke training programme so potential adopters should call ahead before coming to see him so the team can discuss his home requirements in more detail.













Staffy-Lurcher cross Holmes is an active chap who enjoys life and sharing it with his human friends. He loves getting outside for interesting walks in quiet areas, almost as much as he enjoys playing with his favourite squeaky toys. Holmes would need to be the only dog in a quiet adult-only home, with calm and patient adopters who can visit him multiple times to get to know each other.












Three-year old Collie cross Jimmy is active and intelligent and loves playing outside, having a good sniff and exploring his surroundings. Jimmy loves the company of other dogs and relies on them for confidence so he needs to find a home where another dog can show him the ropes. He’ll need to live in a quiet, adult-only home. He is a sensitive boy with a big heart, who’s looking for a home where he can relax, feel comfortable and play with his doggy friends.

















Four-year old Crossbreed Kiko is a shy girl and is looking to be the only pet in an adult-only home. She loves quiet walks away from the hustle and bustle and thrives on learning new things in exchange for a tasty treat. Kiko likes to build a trusting bond and is looking for patient owners who can give her space and time to do this. She is looking for owners who can visit her multiple times to get to know one another.

















Sweet-natured Ned is a handsome five-year old Greyhound who would like to be the only dog in an adult-only home. He is worried by unpredictable sounds and movement, so a home that doesn’t have any visiting children would be required. He is shy around new people, so would love it if his new family could visit him a number of times before taking him home. He’s working super hard with his trainers on a bespoke training programme, so anyone interested in adopting him should call the rehoming centre to discuss his requirements in more detail before making a visit.



















Toffee is a very active and inquisitive five-year old Crossbreed. He’s an affectionate fella who enjoys the company of his humans and loves to engage with you, whether through play or some fuss and cuddles. He would need to be the only dog in an adult only home. He is looking for owners who can commit to his ongoing training and provide him with plenty of exercise and mental enrichment throughout the day.












Ty is a big, loveable lad who is an active and intelligent five-year old crossbreed. He needs owners who can provide him with plenty of exercise both physical and mental. Ty would need to be the only dog in an adult-only home. He has a huge heart and is looking for owners who will continue with his training and can give him the dedicated time and attention he craves. If you would like to learn more about Ty, you can call the rehoming centre before travelling down to see him.









If you are looking to welcome a dog into your life, find out more about these and all dogs at Dogs Trust Salisbury by calling 01980 880891.












Unwanted cat ‘scared and shaken’ after being dumped on Mayhew’s doorstep

A young male cat was left scared and shaken after being dumped on London-based animal welfare charity Mayhew’s doorstep.

One-year old Luka was shaking and shivering inside his carrier and had been left with no food or blankets in the freezing cold January weather.

Deputy Head of Animal Welfare at Mayhew, AJ Ford discovered Luka when he arrived for work last month. Despite being incredibly scared, Luka was in good health and had suffered no lasting effects from his ordeal.

Sadly, AJ discovered that the cat had no microchip, so the team at Mayhew had no way of knowing if he once belonged to someone.

It did however, take Luka a few days before he felt safe and confident enough to come out from behind his bed, where he had been hiding sine he was admitted to the cattery.

AJ Ford said: “When an animal is abandoned on the street, it makes it difficult for rescue organisations such as ourselves to provide the best care, as we have no way of finding out the animals history – including their behaviour, likes and dislikes, any known medical conditions or other useful information which would help is to help and rehome them.

“We understand that people may choose to give up their pets for a variety of reasons, and we are here to support both owners and animals through this difficult decision – we listen, we don’t judge and we want to encourage anyone who is struggling with a pet to come in and speak to us, so we can provide the right help for everybody involved.”

Mayhew’s animal welfare officers support hundreds of people and animals every year, and can help guide anyone through the process of signing over a pet officially, which allows the team to get a proper picture of the animal to treat and rehome them much more easily.

Thankfully Luka’s story has a happy ending – after spending some time getting his confidence back, he was adopted by a loving new owner and is now blissfully settled in a brand new home.

If you need to speak to the Animal Welfare team at Mayhew, you can get in touch with them on 020 8962 8000 or by emailing

Could you offer Pocus the Lurcher a loving home this Valentine’s Day

A canine resident at Dogs Trust Leeds is one the lookout for a magical new home in time for Valentine’s Day

Lurcher puppy Pocus, aged only nine months, is seeking that special someone he can put a spell over, and canine carers are hoping he won’t have to wait too long.

Pocus arrived at Dogs Trust Leeds days before Halloween last year, which is what earned him his name. He had been fund straying by local authorities along with another Lurcher, who the team aptly named Hocus.

After arriving at the centre nearly four months ago, Hocus has since found his forever home, however, sadly Pocus is still waiting on his.

Amanda Sands, Rehoming Centre Manager at Dogs Trust Leeds, said: “Valentine’s Day is typically known for thinking about the loved ones in our life, however we hope that potential dog owner will consider sparing a thought for rescue dogs still searching for their loved ones. Rescue dogs like Pocus, who is extremely smart and loves to learn. He is a very adorable young chap too with a bewitching character.

“When Pocus first arrived, he was very scared and wary of others, however our training & behaviour team has been working with him; and he has shown fantastic progress. He is much more confident and after coming out his shell, has become very affectionate; and although he can be wary around other dogs, he is very content going for walks in quiet areas, where he can focus and enjoy exploring,”

Pocus is a typical Lurcher and therefore has some typical traits for his breed. He can be wary around other dogs and quite excited around small, furry animals; and will need to wear a muzzle when out for walks on his lead.

He is quite relaxed putting this on and will even assist by moving his face closer to help attach it, as he knows this usually means it is time for walkies.

Staff at the rehoming centre advise that his idea home environment would include a fully enclosed garden, with no other pets so he can soak up all the attention for himself; with owners who have some previous dog experience. Pocus could also live with young adults over the age of 16.

If you think you can offer Pocus a loving home and think he may be the dog for you, get in touch with the team at Dogs Trust Leeds on 113 5324335 or visit







Actor backs charity campaign warning dog owners of the ‘dogfishing’ scam

Actor Daniel Brocklebank is teaming up with Dogs Trust on its ‘Don’t Be Dogfished’ campaign to help stop dog lovers falling victim to deceitful puppy sellers online.

Daniel is backing the campaign after recently adopting four-month old Dachshund pup, Karen-Jean, who was being cared for at Dogs Trust Manchester after being illegally smuggled into the UK from Poland with her littermates.

Karen-Jean will have to share the limelight with Daniel’s other smuggled pup, Colin who Daniel adopted from the rehoming centre last March.

Colin was one of a litter of six puppies that were smuggled illegally into the UK from Hungary travelling over 1,000 miles in horrendous conditions before being seized at the border by enforcement authorities and handed into Dogs Trust.

Dog Trust launched the campaign after releasing new statistics showing how unsuspecting dog lovers may have been conned or ‘dogfished’ into buying puppies illegally imported into the UK, leaving them heartbroken and almost £500 on average out-of-pocket.

The Don’t be Dogfished campaign is asking potential new owners to take the following steps to avoid being misled when buying a puppy:

  • Always see puppy and mum together at their home and make sure to visit more than once.
  • Ask lots of questions and make sure you see all vital paperwork, such as a puppy contract – which gives lots of information about their parents, breed, health, diet, the puppy’s experiences and more.
  • If you have any doubts or feel pressured to buy, as hard as it may be, walk away and report it.

Danie said: “Both Karen-Jean and Colin had really tough starts in life. Sadly, not every smuggled puppy is as lucky as they are to be rescued and find a happy home. Many suffer life-threatening health conditions, and some don’t survive, leaving people helpless and heartbroken – as well as out of pocket.

“It’s so easy to buy a dog online nowadays but not every seller can be trusted. By advising dog lovers on what to watch out for we hope the campaign will help prevent people being dogfished. Colin is such as huge part of my life and is being lovely with Karen-Jean. I can’t wait for Karen-Jean to settle in just as well as he did. I’m excited to watch them play together and form a bond, they’ve definitely found their forever home with we.”

Dogs Trust polled over 2,000 puppy owners to see how many buyers might have fallen victim of illegal puppy smuggling where puppies are brought into the UK from central and eastern European countries to sell on for vast profits.

Many described how sellers falsified paperwork, offered discounts for a quick sale or lied about age and breed of the dog.

Paula Boyden, Veterinary Director at Dogs Trust, said: “It’s fantastic to have Daniel’s support on our campaign warning people ‘Don’t be dogfished’. We want to help stop people being duped into buying puppies that have been illegally imported into the country by devious dealers. People think they are getting a healthy, happy puppy but behind the curtain lurks the dark depths of the puppy smuggling trade. If it seems too good to be true, as hard as it is, walk away and report it.”

For more information about the Don’t be Dogfished campaign and advice about how to avoid being misled when buying a puppy online, you can visit









Win Tickets to Crufts with Natures Menu

Fancy a day out at the world’s most famous dog show?

We’ve teamed up with our friends at Natures Menu, the UK’s number one for raw pet food and Europe’s leading expert in raw, to offer TWO lucky winners a pair of tickets to Crufts 2020.

The world’s greatest dog show Crufts is taking place between 6th-10th March at the NEC Birmingham. Natures Menu, one of its official sponsors, specialising in natural dog and cat food made with fully traceable quality raw meats and fish, blended vegetables, fruits and healthy carbohydrates – and uses British suppliers and ethical product sources wherever possible.

Developed with a team of professional vets and raw pet food experts and produced to the highest standard, Natures Menu’s delicious selection from raw meaty bones to natural treats, cans and pouches aims to satisfy the nutritional needs of our pets and provide them with a healthy diet that’s packed full of pure, natural goodness. Reported benefits include fresher breath, cleaner, whiter teeth, more stable energy levels, less flatulence, harder and less smelly and much easier to pick up stools and reduction of allergies and intolerances.

Natures Menu and its team of experts will also be on hand at Crufts to offer advice on raw feeding and how it can benefit your pooch. If you’re the overall lucky winner, make sure you visit the company’s stand 72 in Hall 3 to meet their sponsor dogs, who are thriving on Natures Menu, and discover more about the tasty range.

To enter the prize draw simply visit the Companion Life Facebook page and go to the pinned post:

We’ll pick two winners from the pinned post next Friday 14th February. The prize entitles the overall winner to two general admission tickets to Crufts 2020 valid from 5th – 8th March 2020.

*T&Cs apply.

– No cash alternative.

– There will be two winners

– The prize entitles the overall winner to two general admission tickets valid from 5th – 8th March 2020.